Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sergio Fabbrini & Patrick Dibere Molutsi
Comparative politics is a subdiscipline of political science. The goal of political science is to promote the comparison of different political entities, and comparative politics is the study of domestic politics within states. It differs from the other subdiscipline of political science—international relations—which instead focuses on politics between states. Traditionally, it has been assumed that whereas comparative politics studies politics in contexts where there is an ordering principle (the sovereign state), international relations, instead, studies politics in contexts without such a principle (the international system). The first is interested in studying politics in stable domestic contexts, the second in studying politics in unstable, extradomestic contexts. The first has concerned itself with studying order (because it is guaranteed by the sovereignty of the state), the second with studying disorder (an outcome of the anarchy of the relations between states). Some have questioned whether such a distinction between these subdisciplines is still ...